Taxpayers who have one or more dependents attending Kindergarten through 12th grade in an accredited Iowa school may take a credit for each dependent for amounts paid for tuition and textbooks. Dependents must have attended a school in Iowa that is accredited under section 256.11, not operated for a profit, and adheres to the provisions of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964. The credit amount is 25% of the first $1,000 paid for each dependent for tuition and textbooks. In the case of divorced or separated parents, only the spouse claiming the dependent can claim the amounts paid by that spouse for tuition and textbooks for that dependent.
Expenses for textbooks or other items for home schooling, tutoring, or schooling outside an accredited school do not qualify for the credit. "Tuition" means any charges for the expense of personnel, buildings, equipment, and materials other than textbooks, and other expenses that relate to the teaching of only those subjects legally and commonly taught in Iowa's public elementary and secondary schools. "Textbooks" means books and other instructional materials used in teaching those same subjects. This includes fees, books and materials for extracurricular activities.
Examples of extracurricular activities: sporting events, speech activities, musical or dramatic events, driver's education (if paid to a school), awards banquets, homecoming, prom (clothing does not qualify), and other school related social events. For lists of items eligible and not eligible for the credit, see 2009 Expanded Instructions on the Iowa Dept. of Revenue Web site. Calculate the proper amount of expenses per dependent and multiply the amount not to exceed $1,000 by 25% (.25).
Example: Students Patty and Mark have qualifying expenses of $1,400 and $700 respectively. Their parents can take a credit of $250 (25% of $1,000 maximum) for Patty and $175 (25% of $700) for Mark, for a total credit of $425.
MARRIED SEPARATE FILERS: The Tuition and Textbook Credit must be divided between spouses in the ratio of their respective net incomes. Any unused part of this credit cannot be used by the other spouse. Credit can be claimed only for dependents listed on the return.